Charter schools now law – Cinderella edition

For this Cinderella story, the clock striking midnight was a good thing. With a tick of the clock to midnight on Sunday, Washington joined 42 other states with charter schools. Though we would have preferred to see Governor Inslee sign the bill (and provide those students that testified and rallied at legislature a bill ceremony) we are excited he allowed the bill to become law.

Here is Governor Inslee’s letter to the Secretary of State (never mind the April 1 date) allowing the bill to become law without his signature. This hasn’t happened since 1981 (article from 1981 here).

Others, however, feel betrayed that he didn’t veto the law. Consider this article from The Stranger: Governor Turns His Back on the Democratic Party, Won’t Kill Charter Schools Bill

Seeing how the DNC endorses charter schools & President Obama hails them, that article has a strange headline. Consider the following:

  • President Obama declares national charter school week
    “I commend our Nation’s charter schools, teachers, and administrators, and I call on States and communities to support high quality public schools, including charter schools, and the students they serve.”
  • Current Democratic National Committee Platform calls for expanding charter schools
    “The Democratic Party understands the importance of turning around struggling public schools. We will continue to strengthen all our schools and work to expand public school options for low-income youth, including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies.”
  • There was also a time Washington Democrats celebrated charter schools as seen by this 2004 press release from Governor Locke
    “E2SHB 2295 authorizes the development of charter schools within the public school system. The bill allows school districts to convert some existing schools to charters or to provide for the development of new schools. The focus is on helping struggling students meet state standards . . . ‘I have always been interested in innovation directed toward improving student performance,’ Locke said. ‘We need to do everything we can to help struggling students meet our high academic standards.’”

Now that SB 6194 has become law, hopefully the WEA will follow the lead of the NEA and work to support charter school students.

Keep an eye out for more follow up about the new charter school law from WPC’s Education Director Liv Finne.

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Jason Mercier

Jason Mercier

Jason Mercier is the Director of the Center for Government Reform at Washington Policy Center and is based in the Tri-Cities.